7 Paid Media Tips for Dental Practices
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If you’re one of those dentists who are serious about growing your dental practice, I’ll bet you’re already using paid media as part of your overall marketing strategy. (And if you aren’t, maybe you should be.) Paid media can be one of the most effective and cost-efficient methods of attracting new patients.
Types of Paid Media Dentists Can Use
Paid media refers to any marketing efforts that involve you spending money for the preferred placement of your messaging. As far as digital options go, Facebook, pay-per-click (PPC), and display advertising are the most common types of paid media used by dentists. Each has its unique advantages.
This popular social media platform is a great way to specifically target an audience for your marketing messages based on demographics and online behavior. Facebook gives you several options for placement, including the option to boost regular social posts to reach more people through their news feeds. If you want to get in front of the right people when they have spare time on their hands, Facebook is a great option.
Pay-per-click search advertising (almost exclusively done through Google) allows you to include your website at the top of search results for the keywords you bid on. This is a good strategy to be seen by potential patients who are looking for specific dental-related information online or just searching for a dentist nearby. Since these users have a high level of intent, they are also likely to click on your ad and take the action you are hoping for, like scheduling an appointment.
Display advertising encompasses pop-ups, banners, videos, and other ad formats that seem to be found on almost every web page on the internet. They are also quite affordable on a cost-per-click basis and an excellent way to increase brand awareness and recognition by showing your ads in a number of different locations.
What it Takes for Dental Practices to Succeed with Paid Media
The concept of paid media is pretty simple, but what may be a little harder to grasp is why it seems to work so well for some people (i.e., your competitors) and not so well for you.
I’ll let you in on a little marketing secret. If you want to be successful using paid media, there are seven other important things you also need to be good at first.
First, you need to have a good understanding of your dental practice’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and “threats” that may prevent you from reaching your goals. In the marketing world, we call that a SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis is easy to compile (it’s simply a list broken down into those categories). Use the following questions for ideas to self-evaluate your practice.
What services do you offer?
Is your location convenient to get to?
How good is your dental team?
How do your pricing and quality of service compare to other local dental offices?
How effective is your other marketing?
Do the demographics of your surrounding area match with your ideal patient description?
Are there any seasonal trends or other factors that affect your schedule?
What are the population and economic trends in your community?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors?
A good SWOT analysis will define who you are trying to target (your ideal patients) and help you pinpoint how you can stand out as a better choice than your competitors. That’s important so you can…
If your advertising has the same messaging as everyone else’s, why would patients choose you over everyone (or even anyone) else? Decide what makes you and your team unique. For ideas, think about what your happiest patients are likely to say about you to friends and family after visiting your office. Look through some of the most recent positive reviews you have received from patients. (Hopefully, you have several to choose from!) Take the most common themes you see and make them the focal point of your paid media messaging. And do it in a way that allows you to…
Standing out and being noticed by new patients isn’t just a matter of what you say, it’s how you say it. Eye-catching visuals, clever headlines, and engaging copywriting all help your advertising to be memorable and relatable. Creative messaging will also help your paid media get more clicks and send more people to your website or landing pages. To be sure they are actually taking the actions you want, you’ll need to…
If your paid ads aren’t delivering clicks and conversions, you’re throwing money away. And the only way you’ll know is if you have accurate tracking and analytics in place to track every action that your ad viewers take. Some key performance indicators (KPIs) that you need to measure include:
Number of times your ad is viewed
Number of times your ad is clicked
Number of visitors converted into leads
Cost per click
Cost per conversion
The numbers you end up seeing may not be quite what you were expecting. If your paid media’s performance is lower than it should be you need to…
You won’t always get your ad right the first time. Split-testing (running different versions of your paid ad for comparison) can show you which headlines, images, targeting, and other factors are working and which ones are not. Keep the good and filter out the bad. Do this on an ongoing basis and you should see your return on investment (ROI) improve steadily. But even after following these steps, you may still not reach the numbers you were expecting. That’s why it’s important to…
Paid media is definitely one of the best ways to attract new patients. But the results don’t always come immediately, and they don’t always reach the volume you expect, especially if you’re in a highly competitive market. It’s ok to set the bar high, but not unreasonably high. You can get realistic goals and expectations if you’re working with an experienced marketing agency that has managed similar campaigns in the past. If you haven’t hired an agency yet, it could definitely be the biggest factor in your advertising success. Just remember when searching for a marketing partner to…
Not all marketers are created equal. When making your selection for a partner to manage your paid media, don’t just look at cost. Take time to carefully research their methods, track record of success, experience in marketing to dental patients, and reviews from their current clients. I can tell you that all of our dentist clients carefully scrutinized us before signing on the dotted line.
And that’s exactly the way it should be.
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